The 2012 Bullpen: By Popular Demand

Tony Watson received the third highest votes for the 2012 bullpen.

Yesterday I reviewed the 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen, noting all of the options that are available for the 2012 season, and the limited amount of spots for all of those options.  I also ran a poll asking who you would pick for your bullpen, giving a list of all of the available options, and giving each person seven choices.  That poll ended up with the following rankings:

1. Joel Hanrahan

2. Evan Meek

3. Tony Watson

4. Daniel McCutchen

5. Chris Resop

6. Chris Leroux

7. Jason Grilli

The bullpen usually holds seven players (a closer and six relievers), so Grilli marked the cutoff for the 2012 bullpen.  Grilli was neck and neck with Jose Veras, who held the lead for the seventh spot in the pen up until the final hours of the poll.  After Veras, the only other players that stood out from the group were Daniel Moskos and Jared Hughes.  Both have options, and don’t have to start the year in the majors in 2012.  Veras, on the other hand, would likely be non-tendered if he wasn’t in line for a bullpen spot in 2012, as he’s arbitration eligible and out of options.

There’s not much of a surprise at the top of the list.  Hanrahan was the only person who received a unanimous vote, although Meek wasn’t too far behind.  It’s clear to see why Watson and McCutchen got so much attention, especially after the seasons they put up in 2011.  It’s also not a surprise to see Watson finish third in the voting, since he’s the top left handed option.

The rest of the voting includes prospects like Bryan Morris and Justin Wilson, or guys we saw in the majors this year like Hughes, Moskos, and Aaron Thompson.  There was also a spot for a free agent, although that finished 10th out of 15 available options, and didn’t stand out from the group that included Morris, Wilson, Thompson and Kevin Correia.

Everyone in the top seven is under team control, although the Pirates would have to offer arbitration to Resop and Grilli, or try to work out pre-arbitration deals like they did with Wil Ledezma last off-season.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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I would vote to trade Hanrahan if that was an option.  We should have done that last year at the deadline, but everyone thought it was possible to somehow suddenly beat the Brewers and make the playoffs.  Although we have done it twice in 50 attempts.  People got dumb and crazy and couldnt see the big picture when his trade value was an all time high.  Time to get a top SS prospect.


I can’t quite figure out the love for Meek, what he was is not what he is now.


shenanigans. I didn’t vote for Hanrahan. Trade for prospects, then sign a replacement closer.

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